28th Mar 2014 – Miami, Men’s Semi Finals

19:00Nishikori v Djokovic ***Update. Nishikori has withdrawn. Djokovic gets a walkover into the final.

I think it’s fair to say most people expected Federer to be playing Djokovic. Nishikori somehow got past Ferrer in a very scrappy match. When he played Federer he basically out rallied him. Federer’s game plan was to keep the points short and expend as little energy as possible. When the rallies became extended it was Fed who produced the errors.

Djokovic hasn’t dropped a set yet despite valiant efforts by Robredo and Murray. The Murray match will have sharpened his game nicely.

Nishikori’s body lets him down so frequently. Two 3 set matches against top 10 opposition will have an effect and I don’t expect him to cause an upset tonight. Where Federer was trying to avoid long rallies Djokovic is happy to grind out points if necessary.

Djokovic in two.

 

23:00Nadal v Berdych

Nadal has won the last 17 meetings between himself and Berdych. It can’t be easy for Berdych to convince himself that he has a chance.

Something that may give him hope is the fact that Raonic was able to take his first set from Nadal in their quarter final. Berdych is playing great tennis and we have seen fewer brain fart games from him in 2014.

I think Berdych has a real chance of at least taking a set. Whether he can hold it together long enough to take two sets is a whole different matter. Nadal gets into his opponent’s head and has most players beaten before they get anywhere near the court.

Nadal starts at 1.25 and I will be waiting for around 1.15 to lay him in the early games. Let’s hope Berdych’s set is the first one.

 

 

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